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How to Make a Slow Stitching Drawstring Bag

Making a hand stitched bag with drawstrings is a great beginner friendly way to explore slow stitching. You end up with a beautiful functional piece of stitched art. They make great gifts too!

Small drawstring pouches are a great project for exploring slow stitching. You only need a few supplies and basic hand sewing knowledge.

The colour options are endless and anything goes! This pouch features snippets of red mushrooms and tones in blue, grey and turquoise. I used medium grey ties to highlight the grey tones in the stitching.

How do you make a drawstring bag? Read on and Watch the step by step process video. All you need are a base (I use felt), a small collection of fabric snippets, ties (I use cotton jersey), a needle and thread.

I began with a base of felt and covered it with a piece of light blue cotton voile. The blue cotton was slightly bigger than the felt on all sides. Then I started creating a fabric collage.

I used appliqué pins to hold the fabric pieces in place and then basted the pieces down using regular sewing thread. I baste by taking small stitches on the front and bigger stitches on the back.

The next step is to stitch using multiple colours of embroidery floss to surround each piece of fabric. After all the tiny pieces are secured, the next step is to cover the fabric with slow stitching. I used perlé cotton (also called pearl cotton) in white.

After adding a lining, the rectangular stitched piece is folded in half and stitched together. Then it's time to add channels for the drawstrings. Anything goes for fabric choices here - solids, patterns and stripes all work.

Aside from slow stitching, other embroidery stitches can be added to further embellish the bag. This pouch has lots of French Knots. So fun!


Small snippets of fabric that seem unusable can add all kinds of charm. A chopped-off scrap piece with a little fox was used in this pouch. It's so cute how the fox seems to peek out in this red and blue drawstring bag.

Vintage fabric scraps make up the majority of this fish themed bag. The greens, blues and yellows make for a cheerful little pouch.


When it comes to making a mini drawstring bag the possibilities in are truly endless - fabric, colour and stitch is all up to the maker - so why not pick up a needle and thread, grab your favourite colours and give it a go!

Happy Stitching! ~Jo

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